Jenkins was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where he attended R. L. Paschal High School and Texas Christian University (TCU), where he played on the varsity golf team. Jenkins has worked for many publications including the Fort Worth Press, Dallas Times Herald, Playboy, and Sports Illustrated, where among other things he covered the 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1971 versions of the college football Game of the Century. In 1985 he retired from Sports Illustrated and began writing books full-time, although he maintains a monthly column in Golf Digest magazine.
Larry King has called Jenkins "the quintessential Sports Illustrated writer" and "the best sportswriter in America." Jenkins has written numerous works and over 500 articles for Sports Illustrated. In 1972, Jenkins wrote his first novel, Semi-Tough. Jenkins now lives in Fort Worth with his family. His daughter Sally Jenkins is a sports columnist for the Washington Post.
Tiger Woods controversy
In December 2014, Jenkins published an article in Golf Digest titled "My (Fake) interview with Tiger; or how it plays out in my mind." In the piece, which featured images of a Tiger Woods lookalike in golfing gear, Jenkins mocks Tiger Woods reputation in an imaginary interview with the athlete. Though the piece was clearly marked as parody, the champion golfer requested an apology from the magazine. Woods stated that the piece "fails as parody, and is really more like a grudge-fueled piece of character assassination."
Awards and honors
- 2012 PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing
- 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement Category
- 2013 Red Smith Award
- Dead Solid Perfect
- Slim and None
- The Eternal Summer: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Hogan in 1960, Golf's Golden Year by Curt Sampson and Dan Jenkins
- Semi-Tough: A Novel
- The Money-Whipped Steer-Job Three-Jack Give-Up Artist
- Baja Oklahoma
- Fairways and Greens
- You Gotta Play Hurt
- Bubba Talks: Of Life, Love, Sex, Whiskey, Politics, Foreigners, Teenagers, Movies, Food, Football, and Other Matters That Occasionally Matter
- Life Its Ownself: The Semi-Tougher Adventures of Billy Clyde Puckett and Them
- Rude Behavior
- Fast Copy: A Novel (Texas Tradition Series) by Dan Jenkins and Sally Jenkins
- Football by Walter Iooss and Dan Jenkins
- Limo by Dan Jenkins, and Edwin Shrake
- Sports illustrated's the best 18 golf holes in America
- Life Its Ownself
- Best American Sports Writing 1995 (Best American Sports Writing) by Dan Jenkins and Glenn Stout
- Saturday's America
- The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate
- You Call It Sports, But I Say It's a Jungle Out There (1989) ISBN 978-0-517-07606-4
- The Franchise Babe (2008). Doubleday. ISBN 978-0385519106
- Jenkins at the Majors (2009)
- His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (2014)
- Jenkins, Dan (December 2014). "My (Fake) Interview With Tiger: Or how it plays out in my mind". Golf Digest.
- Corcoran, Kieran (November 19, 2014). "Tiger Woods savages magazine for printing 'below the belt' parody interview - where he says the five best players ever are all him". The Daily Mail.
- Woods, Tiger (November 18, 2014). "Not True, Not Funny".
- World Golf Hall of Fame to induct Dan Jenkins in 2012